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Sri Lankan Recipe : Tomato and Onion Sambol (Takali Sambal)


  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 big onion, quartered and sliced
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chilli, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp Maldive fish, crushed finely
  • 1 tsp freshly grated black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 lime wedge, juice


  1. Combine all in a mixing bowl and toss well just before serving as a condiment.

Preparing Maldive Fish

Maldive dish is bonito, or sometimes tuna, that has been dried so hard in the hot sun that it needs no salting. It is often sold in pieces and needs to be ground before use in most of the Sri Lankan recipes. You can grate Maldive fish using a fine cheese grater, but pounding it in the mortar and pestle is not very effective, a rolling grinding motion works better. You can replace Maldive fish with dried bonito flakes, lightly fried soaked and drained dried prawns or any dried, unsalted fish, or even meat floss. The taste is quite mild and only slightly fishy. You can also opt to omit it altogether in this recipe.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.